Although I love riding, sometimes I feel uneasy reviewing 150cc and smaller capacity motorcycles. The reason is, when I review bikes, I ride them for very long distances, and long rides on small bikes mean irritating shoulder pain and, if the seat is too hard or too soft, numb lower back. So when I got the new Yamaha FZ-S Version 2.0 for review, I mentally readied myself for the same.
My first trip was a 80-km ride from Gurgaon to Greater Noida and I planned two breaks—first at 30 km and then at 60 km. I passed the first point, at ease. I passed the second point, still at ease! Finally I reached the destination without stopping, got off the bike, and only had the initial signs of discomfort. That’s what refinement levels can do even to smaller bikes.
The FZ series, when launched in 2008, did to Yamaha what the Pulsar did to Bajaj a few years earlier—it brought young motorcycle riders into the company’s fold. Young new riders not only loved the FZ’s muscular looks, they also appreciated its excellent handling and riding dynamics. After six years, Yamaha has updated the series—FZ and FZ-S—and the changes are more than skin deep.
First, the looks. Considering the fact that the FZ’s target customer remains the youth, Yamaha has made the new bike look even more stylish. The headlight unit is now sleeker and edgy, and there are new decals all around. New air scoops attached to the fuel tank attract attention, as do the freshly-styled split-seat and grab rails. Yamaha bikes are known for their build quality and the new FZ series is no different.
Now, the engine. The FZ series didn’t really focus on fuel-efficiency as much as it did on performance. But the new engine, the company says, focuses on both. Yamaha has reduced its cubic-capacity from 153 to 149, and the result is a slight drop in peak power and torque figures—it now produces 12.9 bhp and 12.8 Nm, respectively. But because this engine gets fuel injection, the efficiency goes up by a company-claimed 14%. The focus on efficiency is also apparent by the addition of an Eco indicator on the instrument console, which lights up when you ride the bike at moderate engine speeds. So does the focus on fuel-efficiency means Yamaha has turned its street-fighter into a boring commuter bike? Let’s find out.
The FZ series was known for